There are limited things to visit near Hoi An. So, after visiting My Son Sanctuary, we were left with Monkey Mountain and Marble Mountains in Da Nang. And those are the places that I am sharing in this post! We checked out the beautiful Lady Buddha, went into the depths of hell and then tried to watch the sunset on this Da Nang day trip. If this sounds like something you want to do while staying in Hoi An or Da Nang, this tour might be the one for you! Let’s go check out these touristy spots together~! (´• ω •`)ノ

Essential Stops Before Takeoff

Don’t miss these must-read posts before you go!

Lion King Hotel: A Charming Stay in the Heart of Hoi An
Salt Coffee: The Unexpected Vietnamese Delight You Need to Try in Hoi An
Hoi An Coffee Adventures: 12 Cafes to Find Your Perfect Cup of Coffee
Hoi An Sightseeing on a Budget: Free Walking Tour & Must-See Stops

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Never lose track of this post! Save it to your Pinterest boards 📌 with a simple click on the save button (that little Save icon ), and you’ll always have it handy for future inspiration. (。•̀ᴗ-)✧

Lady Buddha and Marble Mountains Tour from Hoi An/Da Nang

We splurged big time on a private tour to My Son Sanctuary. So, to keep our budget in mind, we chose to join a group tour to visit the famous Lady Buddha at Monkey Mountain and Marble Mountains in Da Nang! We chose to have a sunset tour, as watching the sunset seems popular for most tours in Hoi An and Da Nang. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

We booked this group tour through Klook, and based on the information given, the tour bus would pick everyone up from their hotel/accommodation if they were staying within Hoi An. I was expecting a small tour bus with tight seats. But what came was a luxurious-looking bus that we had never seen before! The seats were wide and comfortable, and we could stand up easily without hitting our heads on the roof. So, even if the journey was long, the seats were so comfortable we could sit in it all day. Hehe. Earning some bonus points even before we start our tour! (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ

After picking everyone up from within Hoi An, we proceeded to pick up people staying in Da Nang. I thought the bus would pick people up from a specific meeting point since these participants do not stay in Hoi An. But surprisingly, the bus went from hotel to hotel to pick them up, too! So, if you are staying in Da Nang and are interested in this tour, you could check with them before joining the group tour!

Our guide for this tour was Michael from Venus Travel. He was such a funny and entertaining guide! Throughout the journey, he entertained us with histories and facts about Vietnam and the attractions we would visit, mixed in with some jokes. There was never a dull moment with him on the bus. (ᵔ◡ᵔ)

Exploring Monkey Mountain in Da Nang

As per all my blog posts, I try not to dab on too much about the histories of the places we visited, as I worry I might get them wrong. So, if I do with what I said, feel free to correct me! If you want to learn about the histories and facts, I highly recommend having a guide to share all these with you. You can use my post to decide if the spots we visited are worth going to based on my experience and photos. With that clear, let’s continue our journey to Monkey Mountain in Da Nang! (・ω<)☆

Our first destination for this group tour was Monkey Mountain in Son Tra, Da Nang. Michael told us that exploring the whole place would probably take an entire day. And since we had to get to the next destination before sunset, we will only be visiting one spot here at Monkey Mountain. And that is none other than the beautiful Lady Buddha, also known to Singaporeans as Guan Yin.

Linh Ung Pagoda and the Reclining Buddha

The bus dropped us off at the entrance, and we made a quick photo stop at the Linh Ung Pagoda and the Reclining Buddha. There are apparently several Linh Ung Pagodas, and the one here at Monkey Mountain is known to be the most famous one in Da Nang due to its size and the presence of Lady Buddha on the same site. (ᵔ◡ᵔ)

A photo of us in front of the Linh Ung Pagoda and Reclining Buddha at the Monkey Mountain, and a view of Da Nang city

Hubs and I decided to use the short amount of time to admire the Reclining Buddha and the scenery of Da Nang. Once everyone was done, it was time to move on to the highlight of Monkey Mountain: Lady Buddha!

Exploring the Temple Grounds of Chua Linh Ung

Chua Linh Ung, the main Buddhist temple in this area, is between Lady Buddha and the entrance. Michael shared some quick facts and history about the temple and Lady Buddha before giving us 30 minutes to explore the whole place.

Hubs and I took some time to explore the temple grounds and found out that there are three statues in the temple: Buddha Tripitaka, Sakya Muni Buddha and Lady Buddha. Sakya Muni Buddha and Lady Buddha are commonly seen in many temples we have visited, both in Singapore and Thailand. But it is the first time we have seen a statue of Buddha Tripitaka, and we wondered about its significance. Unfortunately, we did not ask Michael about it, so I do not know the significance of worshipping Buddha Tripitaka. (´-ω-`) So, if you know, let me know in the comments!

A statue of Buddha Tripitaka, the exterior of Chua Linh Ung and a statue of Monkey King outside the temple at Monkey Mountain

Besides Buddha Tripitaka, we also saw Sun Wukong/Monkey King statues around the temple grounds. And there was one in black, which was such a unique colour for a statue in a temple! Now, I wish we had asked about their significance. Like why did we not!? Grrrr. ( `ε´ ) Anyway, there was so much to see around Chua Linh Ung, but time was running out since we only had 30 minutes! So, hubs and I finished exploring the temple and quickly headed over to the Lady Buddha!

Marvel at the Beautiful Lady Buddha at Monkey Mountain, Da Nang

The closer we walked to the Lady Buddha statue, the tinier we felt. Being the tallest Buddha statue in Vietnam, Lady Buddha looked absolutely spectacular and beautiful. With her white exterior, she stood tall and looked elegant with her serene expression.

Lady Buddha is not just a statue. There is a simple main hall on the first floor of the statue, with the same three Buddha statues we have seen at Chua Linh Ung. Michael told us that the statue is open for people to go up and get a view from the top. But hubs and I can’t seem to find a way up. There was also no one that we could ask about this. So, sadly, we didn’t manage to climb up the statue. (´-ω-`)

The Lady Buddha at Monkey Mountain, Da Nang, and a view of the people on the ground level of the statue

There are 17 floors in the statue of Lady Buddha, each with different Buddha statues for people to pray to. I can’t find any photos or footage of this, so hopefully, you will get lucky and see these 17 floors yourself! ( ´ ω ` ) Besides the Lady Buddha, there is also a Laughing Buddha in front of it. From there, we could see the city centre of Da Nang from a distance. Make sure you come by this spot after marvelling at the majestic Lady Buddha! (@´ー`)ノ゙

A view of Da Nang city from where the Lady Buddha is located

Exploring Marble Mountains, Da Nang

A Mandatory Shopping Spot Before Visiting Marble Mountains

After sweating through my shirt at Monkey Mountain, we moved on to the next spot in Da Nang: Marble Mountains! But before that, we stopped at a place where they make marble statues. While it was nice to see the beautiful craftwork, it was more like a shopping spot for tourists to check out the small marble statues in their shop.

After the mandatory tour around the place, hubs and I chose to step out and wait for everyone to finish looking around. The good thing was they don’t force you to buy anything here. At least Michael didn’t push for us to go back into the shop to look at the goods! So we could escape and even talk with Michael while waiting. (ᵔ◡ᵔ)

Visiting the 18 Levels of Hell at Marble Mountains, Da Nang

There are two parts to the tour here at Marble Mountains, Da Nang. One part involves us going into the caves to explore the depths of hell, while the other requires us to climb up to the top to get a view. Michael gave us a choice, and we all decided to start with hell before ascending to “heaven”. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

The idea of the 18 Levels of hell is similar to what we have in Haw Par Villa in Singapore. In the past, we took a boat to see the different levels of hell at Haw Par Villa. But here at Marble Mountains, it was presented inside a cave instead. So, we were walking down to the 18 levels of hell, with the 18th storey being the deepest level. Michael would explain the torturing methods and things that happened at each level. Since it is hell, the sights weren’t pretty. I think, as a kid, these depictions are rather scary. So, it’s probably not a good place for kids to come unless you want to scare them. (″ロ゛)

The cave entrance to the 18 Levels of Hell at Marble Mountains, Da Nang, and one of the exhibits in the cave

Anyway, I always thought that the temperature in caves would be much cooler than outdoors. But I was wrong. It was cool, but it was also humid in some parts of the cave. I was sweating like nobody’s business while inside, and I couldn’t wait to leave the cave. Sometimes, it felt a bit too much for me to handle. Even though it was hot outside, I would rather be outside than in the cave.

Watching the Sunset from the Viewing Tower

I was so relieved to be out of the cave. But what was to come after was yet another torture. ٩(× ×)۶ We had to climb up to the top to catch the sunset, and I didn’t expect there were going to be so many steps! My stamina was sh*t, and it was tough. My strength training definitely paid off, as my legs were all good during the climb. But it was my stamina that was the problem. (x_x) I had to take some quick breaks along the way. Anyway, you don’t have to worry that people will judge you, as many people would also be in the same boat. Haha! Just take those breaks and never be ashamed! (´・ᴗ・ ` )

The entrance at Marble Mountains, Da Nang, and a look at the steep steps to climb up to the top

Anyway, in case you can’t climb, there is an option to take the elevator at an additional cost of 15,000 VND (~0.80 SGD) per person. If you are on a tour package, this will most likely not be covered. But at least now you know there is an option not to climb those torturous stairs. (´• ω •`)

There were some stops along the way where Michael explained the significance behind the pagoda, Buddha statues and temples, with the White Buddha statue being the most beautiful at Marble Mountains in Da Nang. After more climbing and stopping, we finally climbed up to the River Viewing Tower! From here, we can have a panoramic view of the whole city of Da Nang. Sadly, it was cloudy that day, so we didn’t have a beautiful sunset. We were a tad bit disappointed, but at least we still got a view of the city! (ᵔ◡ᵔ)

The White Buddha Statue at Marble Mountains and a view of Da Nang city from the top

Descending was Just as Tough

Just when I thought it was all over, the scary part was here! Gaaaaaaaaaah! Going up was tiring. It was a b*tch trying to catch my breath with every step. But going down was another set of problems altogether! ٩(× ×)۶

The stairs down from the River Viewing Tower were so steep! The steps looked slippery, and each step was so high. There wasn’t any hesitation when I went up, but it was so scary when it was time to go down! To make the situation worse, the handle on the side wasn’t positioned in the best way for people to grab it properly. I just want to go down. (″ロ゛)

The River Viewing Tower and showing you how steep the stairs are up the tower at Marble Mountains, Da Nang

Once we were down, it was time to make our way to the parking lot. The steps might not be the same as those we took to go up, but they were made the same way. Most were uneven, and some were so small we couldn’t even step on them safely. We sometimes had to hold on to the side to make sure we got our footing. There was no time to get distracted as we worried about slipping on them. So, it was just as tiring to make the move down. Gah.

Time to Go Back to Hoi An!

Finally, we were down, and it was time to head back to our hotel in Hoi An! We took the same bus back to Hoi An. Those who were staying in Da Nang had another car to bring them back. There were four of them, and they had to squeeze in a salon car. I said squeeze, as taking the bus was definitely the more comfortable option if there were four of them. (´-ω-`)

So, you might want to take note of this if you book this tour from Da Nang. Maybe they wanted to end the tour on time, so they had to make this arrangement. But it sure wasn’t a comfortable trip back to Da Nang for those participants.

Overall Experience of The Lady Buddha and Marble Mountains Tour

Entrance Fees and Dress Code

Visiting the Lady Buddha statue at Monkey Mountain is free. We only need to pay for entrance fees at Marble Mountains, mainly to enter the cave and climb up to the mountain. Our tour package covered the entrance fees, so we didn’t have to pay them.

If you are coming here yourself, it costs 20,000 VND (~1.10 SGD) per pax to enter the cave and 40,000 VND (~2.10 SGD) per person to climb the mountain. As mentioned earlier, taking the elevator would be at an additional cost of 15,000 VND (~0.80 SGD) per person.

The elevator you can use at Marble Mountains vs taking the stairs

There is no dress code for visiting these places, though wearing a respectful outfit would be good. Considering how hot and humid it was, my advice is to wear light clothes, those that will help to disperse the heat and sweat from your body quickly. I was sweating so much that I hated what I wore, as sweat stains were showing through my shirt! URGH! I shouldn’t have worn those tight-fitting tops. ٩(× ×)۶ And if you are wearing shorts, you don’t have to worry about entering the temples. They have cover-ups, so you can wear them before entering the main hall. (ᵔ◡ᵔ)

Our Experience with Michael and My Thoughts on the Tour

I like the tour, especially with Michael as our guide. He was knowledgeable and super funny, always entertaining us throughout the trip. Hubs and I enjoyed all his random jokes, especially when he made fun of Vietnam when comparing it with Singapore. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

My only complaint was that we didn’t have a guide at Monkey Mountain when we had 30 minutes to explore the place. I felt that so many things could be explained to us when we were exploring the area. That is probably the little minus of joining a group tour since everyone is interested in different things. And especially at Monkey Mountain, many people were more focused on visiting Lady Buddha than checking out the temple grounds of Chua Linh Ung. Besides that, Michael was great at explaining everything to us at Marble Mountains, which was good as that place definitely needs a guide to be with us.

A butterfly at the garden in the temple grounds of Chua Linh Ung and a wide-angle view of Lady Buddha from the ground floor

Here are some tips on what to wear and bring if you plan to visit these two places. It will be hot and humid, so wearing breathable clothes will help you stay fresh throughout the whole journey. Also, make sure you have shoes with good grip, as you will need them to climb those treacherous stairs. If you join a tour, bottled water will most likely be provided. If not, remember to bring some, as you will definitely need it to stay hydrated. Now that you have everything, just be mentally prepared for what’s to come, and you are ready to enjoy the tour with your guide! (・ω<)☆

Information About Lady Buddha and Marble Mountains, Da Nang

LADY BUDDHA & CHUA LINH UNG

⏰ Opening Hours: Unknown
📍 Address on Google Maps

THE MARBLE MOUNTAINS

⏰ Opening Hours: 7 AM – 5 PM
☎️ Phone Number: +84 236 3961 114

🔎 You can find out more about The Marble Mountains on its website

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Hoi An-Related Posts

Struggling to find a hotel for your Hoi An trip? We stayed at the Lion King Hotel right in the heart of Hoi An, and it was super cosy! If you gotta have your caffeine fix, check out my recommendations on the cafes to visit in Hoi An. For those who like their coffee a little different, don’t miss out on the amazing salt coffee here as well! Oh, and while you’re planning, check out these Hoi An posts I wrote! They’re packed with info to make your adventure epic. (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ

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